A technique for the salvage of megafistulas allowing immediate dialysis access

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Abstract

Objective

Almost two million individuals are undergoing renal replacement therapy worldwide, with hemodialysis being the common form. Many factors influence the primary patency of an arteriovenous fistula (AVF), including vessel size, fistula flow rates, cannulation practice, and thrombotic tendencies. Excess dilation of the AVF, resulting in the development of a megafistula, is a complication that can result in a need for AVF revision and subsequent failure.

Methods

The charts of patients who underwent autogenous AVF revision because of the development of a megafistula with aneurysmectomy and vein transposition by a single surgeon during a 7-year period from 2009 through 2016 were reviewed. A technique is described in which after aneurysmorrhaphy, the repaired venous component of the AVF is transposed through a new tunnel while the vein is rotated 90 degrees. This allows the AVF to be accessed immediately, making placement of a tunneled dialysis catheter unnecessary.

Results

There were 102 patients included in the study, with follow-up ranging from 7 to 95 months. In our cohort, 92 of the 102 revised AVFs (90.2%) maintained primary functional patency. Of the 102 patients who underwent this revision technique, there were 10 fistulas that subsequently failed after a mean of 29 months. There were only seven patients who experienced recurrent fistula dilation requiring repeated aneurysmectomy.

Conclusions

We describe a technique for management of the development of a megafistula that uses only autogenous tissue and, perhaps most important, eliminates the need for temporary dialysis catheter placement.

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